Assad praises Russia, Iran, China and Hezbollah for supporting government as shell kills several at international fair
The Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, has railed against the west, saying any security cooperation with western nations or the reopening of their embassies would not happen until they cut ties with opposition and insurgent groups.
Shortly after Assad gave his speech, a shell hit the first international fair in the country since the war began six years ago, killing and wounding several people.
Assad’s defiant comments come at a time when his troops and pro-Iranian militia are gaining ground across the country under the cover of Russian airstrikes. Many countries have ceased calling for him to step down.
Speaking in front of dozens of Syrian diplomats in Damascus, Assad praised Russia, Iran, China and Lebanon’s Hezbollah for supporting his government during the conflict. He said Syria would look east when it came to political, economic and cultural relations.
“The direct support of our friends, politically, economically and militarily, made our advance on the ground greater and the losses of war less. Therefore, they are our partners in these achievements on the road to crush terrorism,” Assad said.
“Let’s be clear. There will be no security cooperation nor opening of embassies or even a role for some countries that say that they want to play a role in ending the crisis in Syria before they clearly and frankly cut their relations with terrorism. At that point maybe we can speak about opening embassies.”
Following months of steady military advances, Syria’s government has sought to portray itself as the victor in a war that is winding down, and is looking ahead to reconstruction. The Syrian president said his country’s economy was turning to growth again “at a very slow pace, although we are under an almost complete embargo”.
The government had billed the international trade fair, which opened three days ago, as a victory and a sign of renewed confidence in the war-torn nation.
The Mortar News in Damascus Facebook page, which tracks violence in the capital, said the shell hit the entrance of the fair, killing four people and wounding four others.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition-run group that reports on both sides of the conflict, said the shell killed five people and wounded 11 but did not say who was behind the attack.
The state-run news agency said the shelling inflicted casualties but gave no further details. It blamed the rebels in the suburbs of the capital, saying they fired the shell in violation of a truce reached earlier this month in the eastern suburbs of Damascus known as eastern Ghouta.
Srinagar, August 20 (KMS Report ): In occupied Kashmir, the High Court Bar Association has said that the Kashmir dispute can only be peacefully resolved through implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions and the holding of unconditional and result-oriented talks among all stakeholders on Kashmir.
Killing and counter killing in a troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir is a normal phenomenon. Indian occupation have left no stone unturned and have effect the lives of every ordinary men in the valley. People in the valley have witnessed the Strong wave of violence and a reign of terror by the hands of Ikhwan’s.
Men in uniform have committed huge atrocities and mass Human Rights violations in Kashmir. Terrorism have added fuel to the fire and at the end of the day common people in Kashmir suffered a lot and is still suffering. The youth so called as the future of every Nation have no relevance here. We are loosing young generation in Kashmir at a very fast rate. The cry’s and voice of Kashmir’s are no we’re heard ,On contrary, People organise discussions and run offices over the killings in Kashmir. The corrupt leadership have made the Heaven on Earth into graveyard. The transparency, Justice and laws are mere jokes for the people result in the loss of trust and believe from the state system as a whole.
The National Conference (N. C) and People’s Democratic Party (P. D. P) have betrayed the Kashmiri Nation from time to time with hallow slogans and double stands. whatsoever is going on in the Kashmir is heart rendering and needs global attention to redress. But the main architects of this uncertainty and chaos are National Conference and People’s Democratic Party. Kashmiris have to stand in this crucial Juncture of time and have to struggle to attain it’s objectives. We have to be united, educated and well prepared about the facts and tactics.
Enemies are trying their best to divide and exploite us. The Article 35 A is a tactic of our enemies to suppress the true voice of the people inhabiting in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The political parties have always betrayed us. We have to remain extra conscious to fight against the move by tooth and nail.
How long we have to suffer in digital world. A day will come when our sacrifices and sufferings will parish the ship along Captain.
By Syed Karar Hashmi
Social Activist from Central Kashmir Ganderbal district, Contemporary studying at Jamia Al Mustafa International
PRESIDENT of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan has said that Azad Kashmir can be turned into Silicon Valley and IT hub, which would supplement and augment Pakistan’s burgeoning IT market. Addressing a seminar at Mirpur University of Science and Technology, he pointed out that AJK could host high-tech corporations and venture capital.
Azad Kashmir is lucky that it has a visionary President who has necessary background and knowledge not only to contribute immensely for the cause of Kashmir issue but also offer a leading role in bringing about a socio-economic change in the territory. What Sardar Masood has said is attainable as AJK has all the ingredients to become an IT hub. Developmental allocations for Azad Kashmir have been almost doubled for the next financial year in line with the commitment of the PML (N) government. Already, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced a number of mega projects including motorways and highways, tunnels, airports, energy projects and upgradation of educational and medical facilities. Creation of world-class infrastructure as well as linking of AJK with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would unleash vast potential for progress and development in Azad Kashmir besides brightening prospects for tourism development and promotion. However, long-term progress and development would be possible only if the AJK government focus on human resource development as emphasised by Sardar Masood Khan. As necessary funds are at the disposal of AJK government, it is hoped that it would embark upon a well-knit programme for imparting necessary knowledge and skills to students. Apart from hiring highly qualified faculty, universities should launch engineering programmes that could equip local students with required skills to take benefits of developmental activities and CPEC related projects. We hope that apart from persuading AJK government to integrate his vision into budgetary proposals, Sardar Masood would also convince Kashmiri Diaspora to invest in profitable ventures back home.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday asked the world community to get rid of its hypocrisy and double standards and speak out on the continued Indian oppression against the Kashmiri people in blatant violation of UN charter and resolutions for plebiscite in the divided state of Jammu Kashmir.
In a reaction to the recent killing of Kashmiri freedom fighter Sarbaz Ahmed Bhat and other young people by the Indian Army, he said that the hypocrisy and double standards of the international community have never been so starkly displayed, as on the Kashmir issue.
Strongly denouncing the ongoing reign of terror unleashed by the Indian forces in the Indian-held Kashmir, which led to the death of 12 Kashmiris including Sarbaz Bhat on Saturday, he deplored the protestors were fired upon with shotgun pellets by Indian troops as a curfew was imposed in Srinagar and a media blackout was imposed by the Indian government.
“The new round of terror and violence unleashed by India against the Kashmiri people is nothing short of state terrorism,” he said, and called on the international community to take note of this Indian state terrorism against the Kashmiri people, which was a violation not just of the UN charter and its underlying principle of the right to self-determination but of all human rights and humanitarian laws.
The PTI chairman reminded the world that the disputed state remains the most militarised region of the world and it was a sad reflection of the state of global politics today that India’s violence and terrorism against unarmed Kashmiri people was being allowed to go unchecked despite multiple international calls for combating all forms of terrorism.
“India’s media blackout, its suspension of internet services and a re-imposition of the ban on a number of social media sites including Twitter and Facebook, are all reflective of the repressive and authoritarian nature of the Indian government and its troops,” he added.
He said the use of military force cannot be used to deny the Kashmiris their basic right to self-determination guaranteed to them by the UN Security Council resolutions. “We will always stand by the Kashmiri people in their struggle for self-determination and justice.”
He made clear that no solution to the Kashmir conflict can be valid or viable without the support of the Kashmiri people. “The Kashmiri people must have the right to decide their future.” He also criticised the government for what he claimed not projecting the Kashmir issue and Indian actions against Kashmiri people at international forums.
He said that the Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, headed by Fazlur Rehman, has also been a shameful failure and must be held accountable. He claimed that the ‘personal’ contacts of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with Indian businessmen have prevented him from speaking forcefully for the Kashmiri people on the multiple international forums.